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Recruiting remotely: does it really work?

Recruiting remotely: does it really work?

almost 2 years ago
Recruiting Remotely

​During COVID the majority of us moved from the office to home working, which for a large variety of roles has proven very successful. People are often more productive at home, more engaged with their work and able to achieve a healthier work life balance. However, can we say remote recruiting has been as successful?

Pre COVID it was almost unheard of to hire a candidate without meeting them in person but now, recruiting remotely is a challenge facing many companies and though technology makes it possible, it does not always work as expected. The risk of the Wi-Fi going down and the microphone, sound, or camera not working is always there, which can negatively impact the interview outcome, especially if the candidate is the one with the technical problems. The most challenging factor can be gauging how the candidate is feeling and their personality. We often rely on body language in interviews to paint a clearer picture and remote recruiting robs us of this helpful insight.

Nonetheless, remote hiring is part of our new reality and companies need to make it work successfully as part of their recruitment processes. Some may argue that recruiting remotely can indeed work. In a tight labour market remote recruiting offers access to a much wider, further reaching pool of candidates and can allow companies to recruit great talent they might have otherwise not attracted.

So, what is the key to successfully recruiting remotely? It’s all about strong process, company culture and clearly defined expectations.

Company culture begins from the first “Hello” in the interview process and from this, candidates will get a feel for a company’s culture and then on throughout the recruitment stages. Companies with slow processes, poor communication and who don’t prioritise regular contact with candidates will inevitably lose out to companies who demonstrate they care by remaining engaged throughout the process.

I recently fell victim to poor communication. I previously applied for a marketing position with a company where the whole recruitment process was conducted remotely.Two interviews and one task later I was offered the job. My excitement quickly turned to confusion when my offer letter came through. The role which I had been led to believe was hybrid was now requiring me in the office 5 days a week… Finding a hybrid role was important to me and so it was very disappointing to find this job was not as advertised! Although in the subsequent days I was offered a version of hybrid (1 day from home a MONTH!) I ultimately rejected the role. The whole process left a sour taste in my mouth.

I couldn’t help but feel that if the role had been properly advertised neither me nor the company would have had their time wasted. This is where a recruiter can help – by working with clients and candidates to understand their needs, these messy situations can be avoided. Engaging with a recruiter gives you a guide through the recruitment process and ensures poor communication is avoided allowing both candidates and companies to find the right fit.

So, how can recruiters deliver a successful hiring process and ensure every new member feels welcome and included while recruiting remotely?

First things first, preparation. Familiarise yourself with the interview or video system you will be using, prepare your questions and ensure all technical risks are minimised. Be considerate and empathic with the candidate and get creative in the different stages of the process to make sure you keep the candidate updated.

 Matthew Robinson, Head of Operations at Cuvva, the motor insurer, has experienced both, recruiting and being recruited remotely and he has shared his top tips with us.

 “The secret is to have a good recruitment process in place and make sure it is followed to the letter”

1.     Arrange an introductory interview: The aim is to get to know the candidate and it doesn’t have to be too formal. Explain the role, talk about the company and ask the candidates questions about themselves. You can ask questions to help you determinate if the candidate would be right for the job and the company. Be considerate for any technical issues that the candidate may have their end and after the interview, share feedback promptly.

2.    Test: Evaluate candidates for skills and experience through a take-home task or the delivery of a presentation, this gives you an understanding of the candidate’s skills and knowledge. Again, don’t forget to share feedback promptly afterwards.

3.     Arrange a values interview: The final interview should include the wider team and the sole purpose is to try to understand if the candidate will fit in with the company culture and with the team.

4.     The aftermath: Once the recruitment process is complete, the onboarding process begins, and this will most likely also be remote, so communication is key. The new member of your team needs to feel welcome and included, while also having clear objectives and expectations set.

Aim to review your onboarding processes regularly and ensure new joiners have full technical support for working remotely. If possible, arrange a day for the new joiner to meet the team face-to-face and make sure to arrange a social activity at least once a quarter, so colleagues can spend time together outside of work.

Recruiting remotely is a challenge, but with enough preparation, creativity, and an open mind, it can and does work.

Get hiring yourselves or contact us as we would love to help you.

Remember, our talent is finding yours!


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